Cross Cultural Management Experiences

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Cross Cultural Management

Cross Cultural Management as a subject has a lot of practical significance in today’s world and hence it captured my fancy right from the start. I work with a leading UK based banking organization with major presence in UK and Netherlands and subsidiary presence in the US and other countries. We have an 80 country presence through 30 brands and have more than 40 Million customers and a workforce touching 150,000 full time employees. In such a diverse set up, cross-cultural issues are imperative and hence demand focused and sustained attention. The organization has understood this well and hence we have various organizational interventions to promote and respect diversity and manage cultural issues which I shall try and talk about later in this paper.

In my role as a recruitment head for North India, I have to deal with various business lines and clients, some of whom are expats or foreign nationals. I always did know that it is important to understand the background of the individual before getting into a professional relationship with him/her, which obvious would include understanding what kind of country/culture he/she belongs to. But what the course did for me is to make me more aware of the ‘reasons’ for different behavior patterns in different cultures and hence more respect and tolerance for the differing behaviors. The course also made me introspect a lot on the class teachings while in office and I would invariably end up linking the concepts learned in class with my day to day professional experiences. I shall also try and touch upon some of these in this paper.

The first thing that I did was to try and understand what type of organizational culture is present in my company. After a lot of thinking, I was able to say with relative confidence that it’s a difficult task to put my organization under a single category. We do have a lot of focus on profitability and the financial aspect...
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